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Iran’s new security chief meets NSA Doval in Johannesburg, discusses Chabahar and BRICS membership

NSA Ajit Doval at the BRICS National Security Advisors meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday (Image courtesy: Twitter/@Khu_Ntshavheni)

Acknowledging India’s growth as an emerging power, Tehran has urged New Delhi to accelerate the process of Iran’s admission to the powerful five-member BRICS grouping that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Iran’s new security chief Ali Akbar Ahmadian discussed the matter in detail during his meeting with National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on the sidelines of the BRICS NSA and ‘Friends of BRICS’ gathering in Johannesburg that was also attended by national security secretaries and advisors of Iran, Burundi, Egypt, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, UAE and Belarus.

Earlier this month, Iran – an observer state till now – got a full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) under the rotating chairmanship of India while the official procedure for Belarus’ admission to the grouping has also begun.

This was the first meeting between NSA Doval and Ahmadian who was appointed by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi as the Secretary of the country’s Supreme National Security Council on May 22. He replaced Admiral Ali Shamkhani who held the top position for 10 years.

Before his appointment, Ahmadian was in charge of the strategic centre of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and a permanent member of the Expediency Council, an advisory body assisting the country’s leader.

Iran security
Ali Akbar Ahmadian, the new Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (Image courtesy: Office of the President of Iran)

During Monday’s meeting with NSA Doval, Ahmadian praised India’s growth as an emerging power and “a large economy in the global arena based on multilateralism” while pointing to the historical relations and the numerous cultural and civilizational commonalities that binds both nations.

He referred to Chabahar port being built with India’s help in Iran, as a symbol of cooperation between the two countries and emphasised on accelerating the implementation of agreements between the two countries in the field of transportation, energy and banking cooperation. Any obstacles in the path to develop bilateral relations in all fields, stated Ahmadian, should be prioritized and resolved quickly.

The two security chiefs also also discussed common positions and concerns in the fight against terrorism and drug production and trafficking.

Iran security

Secretary of the Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Akbar Ahmadian is seen standing right behind National Security Advisor Ajit Doval during a ‘Friends of BRICS’ meeting in JohannesburgThe crucial meeting took place just ahead of next month’s 15th BRICS Summit, scheduled to be held in Johannesburg from August 22 to 24, which will also be the first in-person gathering of BRICS leaders in three years.

The Summit will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Presidents of Brazil, China and hosts South Africa while Russian President Vladimir Putin will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

During the summit, PM Narendra Modi is expected to further carry forward his vision of utilising India’s current G20 presidency to give resonance to the voice of the Global South and the importance of South-South Cooperation to collectively shape the global agenda.

It was in June 2022 that Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian sent a letter to his counterparts in the five-member BRICS countries, expressing Tehran’s readiness to join the group that owns in excess of one fifth of the world’s gross domestic product, brings together some 3.2 billion people and is among the largest bloc of countries in terms of population and territory.

BRICS Leaders Summit
A file image of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi (Image courtesy: PMO)

Last month, as Cape Town hosted foreign ministers of the BRICS and ‘Friends of BRICS’, Amirabdollahian again spotlighted that Iran enjoys abundant potentialities and capacities such as bountiful sources of energy, unique connectivity, skillful human resources and hi-tec knowledge-based enterprises which would bring remarkable added value to BRICS.

The minister mentioned that the number of the countries interested in joining BRICS, some of whom were present in the Cape Town meeting, is well suggestive of the increasing significance and relevance of the objectives and goals pursued by the BRICS.

“As I highlighted in my statement to the Friends of BRICS, an extended BRICS, can present to the world an effective pattern and competent model of collective and inclusive governance, new South-South cooperation and coalition of emerging economies—patterns and models which will definitely play a role in correcting the present global systems,” said Amirabdollahian.

Also Read: NSA Doval meets Russia’s Patrushev and China’s Wang Yi as BRICS security chiefs gather in Johannesburg